Secular Franciscan Order

Ordo Franciscanus Sæcularis

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...together on the journey

CONFERENCE OF GENERAL SPIRITUAL ASSISTANTS OFS – YOUFRA


2017 - 4                                                                            Year 24                                                                                       n. 96                                                                                                       

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LIVING THE FRANCISCAN CHARISM IN TODAY'S WORLD

40 years after the Seraphicus Patriarcha

 

“GO WITH THE GOSPEL IN THE HEART AND IN THE HANDS” [1]:

Franciscan Youth in the World

Fr. Pedro Zitha, OFM

 

INTRODUCTION

By looking at what is happening in today's world it is easy to understand that people need courageous believers who seriously take up their identity as followers of Christ who lives and is present in the life of everyone. Even the emergence of so many Christian movements is a confirmation that many are thirsty for the Word of God. And it is true that people alone and without the help of God are unable to quench this thirst. But people must cooperate effectively and this happens through the contemplation of the Word of God in the Gospel.

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To underline the communion with the Pope, we offer the intention of the Holy Father for the month and an intention for OFS according to the life and important events of the Order. Local Fraternities pray for both.

K O I N Ō N I A
...together on the journey

CONFERENCE OF GENERAL SPIRITUAL ASSISTANTS OFS – YOUFRA


2017 - 3                                                                            Year 24                                                                                       n. 95                                                                                                       

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LIVING THE FRANCISCAN CHARISM IN TODAY'S WORLD

40 years after the Seraphicus Patriarcha

“go forth as witnesses and instruments” (cf. OFS Rule 6)

The Secular Franciscans in the Church and in the world

Fr. Francis Bongajum Dor, OFMCap.

Introduction

St. Francis of Assisi so wanted to insert in the Rule a chapter on mission, “for those who go among the Saracens and other Nonbelievers”. The Rule stipulates that: “As for the brothers who go, they can live spiritually among the Saracens and nonbelievers in two ways. One way is not to engage in arguments or disputes but to be subject to every human creature for God’s sake and to acknowledge that they are Christians[1]. So, Francis saw in the simple testimony of Christian life an act of evangelization. The present Rule of life of the Secular Franciscan Order (OFS), recovers the Franciscan spirit of the power of witnessing and wants that the preferred apostolate of the Secular Franciscans be “personal witness in the environment in which they live and service for building up the Kingdom of God within the situations of this world[2].

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LAUDS

Sunday

Merciful Father, you have called us to live according to evangelical penance, following the example of Saint Francis of Assisi.

- Help us, through diligent reading of your Word, to go from Gospel to life and life to Gospel (cf. Rule. OFS, 4).

 

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Press Release

The International Fraternity of the OFS today voted to have permanent offices for formation, communication and JPIC (Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation) with the aim of improving the functioning of these areas and decentralizing the management of the CIOFS Presidency.

In the first case, the intention is to better coordinate the work carried out at the international level in regard to both initial and on-going formation, with the ultimate goal of deepening the sense of identity and belonging to the OFS.

Regarding JPIC, a secretariat will be established to coordinate activities and to collaborate with other organizations in the Franciscan Family with similar areas of interest.

Finally, a communications office will be established to bring the life of the international fraternity closer to the brothers and sisters scattered around the world.

The above are measures approved by the General Chapter to improve the management of the Secular Franciscan Order in its entirety. In addition, the Chapter approved the creation of an international register of local fraternities; that national fraternities establish national registers of Secular Franciscans; the establishment of a group of experts; collaboration with the Franciscan Family and the development of a financial strategy.

However, the most emotional moments of the day were when presentations were made on causes of beatification and canonization of two Secular Franciscans who gave their lives as martyrs for their faith: Lucien Botovasoa, a teacher from Madagascar, and Franz Jägerstätter , an Austrian farmer.

Immediately following, a report was given on the beginning process of the causes for the beatification of Augusto Natali (Italy), one of the precursors of the international fraternity, and for General Ministers Manuela Mattioli (Venezuela) and Emanuela de Nunzio ( Italy), whose death was six years ago today.  

Rome, November 10, 2017

Follow the General Chapter in photos on Flickr: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm5vzG8L

Press Release

The General Chapter of the OFS today addressed one of the most delicate aspects, the economic support of the International Fraternity, which relies on the irregular contributions of brothers and sisters throughout the world through the National Fraternities.

The Vice General Minister of the OFS, Chelito Núñez, appealed to the sense of co-responsibility that is referred to in Article 30 of the General Constitutions. She used the image of the 'castellers' (human towers) of Catalonia as a symbol for the common effort necessary to achieve the result, in this case the good functioning of the International Fraternity.

Values ​​such as formation, shared effort, teamwork, dynamism, balance, courage, solidarity, tenacity, common sense, integration or diversity, that are found in the 'castellers', serve to define the fraternity we want -- local and global at the same time.

The day also provided presentations on concrete life experiences of Secular Franciscans, such as Eugenia and Elisabetta, who are responsible for the pastoral care of an urban area of ​​Milan (Italy); Franco's, who participates in both public and political life in Latina (Italy); Lorena, whose fraternity in Cadiz (Spain) started a formation project based on caring for the environment, or Ann, who, as a Secular Franciscan, is the spiritual assistant of a fraternity.

The Chapter heard the perspective of Fr. Marco Tasca, General Minister OFMConv., who presided over the Eucharist, and dedicated (the mass) to the Basilica of the (St. John) Lateran. In his homily, he questioned "our way of relating to God," sometimes seeming more similar to how it was before Jesus.

In addition, the group work continued on the different aspects of the 'Instrumentum Laboris', with the aim of arriving at conclusions that will provide the substance for the definitive document that will establish guidelines for the future management of the Order.

Rome, November 7, 2017

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The Secular Franciscan Order

The Secular Franciscan Order belongs to the Franciscan Family and is "formed by the organic union of all the Catholic fraternities, whose members, moved by the Holy Spirit, commit themselves through profession to live the Gospel after the manner of St. Francis in their secular state following the Rule approved by the Church" (Const. 1,3).

 

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Franciscans International is a non-governmental organisation that voices concerns at the United Nations, with and on behalf of the most vulnerable, about justice, poverty and the planet.

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